First, important message: Thanks to all those who nominated me for IF's Member Awards. As most of you know, I only log on there to update so I didn't even realize there were awards going on I was just informed about it two days ago tbh. So I know this is very late, but better late than never right? Thanks everyone, it's a very nice feeling to win something for my writing Especially since most of my real life friends don't understand my FF addiction Congrats to the other winners too.
And *drumroll* here is the teaser for the upcoming part of Secret Passion. Click Read More or here
Teaser for Episode 28: Mood Swings
*note: this is not quite the beginning of the chapter, but a snippet*
Khushi fell against her husband, sweaty and out of breath and utterly content. For a long time, he just held her on his lap, his heartbeat slowing. "You okay?" he mumbled, his warm breath caressing her ear. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
Shaking her head, she grinned up at him. "Of course not, love. Me and the babies are just fine."
His hands molded over her abdomen as he pecked her smiling lips. "Ready to finally go to sleep?"
"You're coming with me, right? I won't go without you. I swear I won't."
Arnav stood up with her in his arms, the corner of his mouth tipping up as he noted the determination blazing in her eyes. It didn't surprise him. Not at all. "Do I have a choice?"
She gave him a very wifey look, shaking her head as if to say "hell no."
"I thought so." He lifted her higher in his arms. "So hush, I'm coming with you." Their gazes remained locked as he crossed to the bedroom beyond and lowered her on the mattress. He'd just slipped in beside her when Khushi sat up.
Arnav's brow furrowed. "What is it now?"
"Nothing." She stroked her throat. "I'm just feeling a bit thirsty."
"I'll go get you some water." He started to rise, but Khushi caught his forearm.
"Relax. I'm pregnant--not gravely sick. I can get water by myself."
Arnav didn't look too happy, but even he seemed to realize how overprotective he was being. "Turn on the lights. I don't want you to accidently trip or stumble." That was one of his worst fears--something that gave him constant nightmares.
Khushi squeezed his hand. "Don't worry so much, baby. I'll be back in two minutes."
"Just be careful."
She nodded, leaving with one last lingering glance at him. Warmth enveloped her as she observed him get comfortable under the blankets. In his designer suits, he was the most handsome man she'd ever seen, but outside of them, he took her breath away. And she knew he wasn't even trying to be sexy. He just was.
"Are you going to stand there and watch me all night?" he asked, peering at her with amusement from beneath half-closed lids. "Hurry up."
"Yes, sir," she said sarcastically. "I know how much you hate delays."
Her words reminded them both of another time, another memory... For Khushi, it felt as if it had been ages ago that she'd walked into his office during the noon-hour lunch break, nervous and yet restless for what was to come.
"You're late," he told her, his lips twisting into a frown.
As she remained silent, refusing to answer, his frown deepened. His burning gaze never left her as he pressed a button on the wood desk. Thick, gray curtains at once slid across the glass windows, sealing them in darkness. Another push of a small button and the door automatically locked behind her, clicking into place. That faint sound bit into her, but he never paused. "You know how much I hate delays, don't you?"
She nodded. She had learned a lot about ASR's likes and dislikes over the course of the month. Things she had never imagined...
A smirk played on his lips. "Good."
His low, husky voice had the desired effect. A quivering took over her. Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around her waist, her eyes fluttering close. What was happening to her? But she didn't have even a moment to think. Because just then his lips crashed down on hers, taking kiss after kiss.
Now, those same lips were smiling, and those once icy cold eyes were filled with such love it felt unreal. She started to tell him so, but he pointed to the door.
"Go. Now. Before I change my mind."
Khushi sighed, murmuring under her breath about how he was just as bossy as ever. Her Laad Governor.
"I heard that." Despite his gruff tone, his smile mirrored her own. Turning, he glanced at the clock. "Go get your water. You have exactly five minutes, Khushi."
Anticipation curled within in her at his marked impatience. "And then?"
His lips curled. "And then I'm not letting you take a step out of this bed till noon tomorrow."
She knew him well enough to know that he meant it. He was dead serious as he met her startled gaze. "But the office--"
"That's for Aman to worry about, not you. Just hurry up, dammit."
She couldn't stop smiling as she stepped away. It took some doing. The hallway outside was dark and Khushi flicked on the lights, blinking several times at the sudden brightness.
True to her word, she went to the closest refrigerator. It happened to be the one in her husband's study. It was mini-sized and filled with outrageously expensive bottles of mineral water and several types of fruit juice. She smiled as she noticed a plate full of jalebis labeled "For emergency mood swings" in Arnav's unmistakable slanty handwriting.
Taking one of the water bottles, Khushi turned to leave when her eyes fell on the neat desktop. There was a small green light blinking from the closed laptop.
"He must have forgotten to turn it off," she thought aloud. "He was too busy doing all those wicked things to me, he didn't realize--" Her voice broke off as she got her first good look at the screen. Her face drained of all color. It suddenly felt difficult to breathe...
The screen was filled with images of a club. Most were disturbing. A woman gagged and bound with nothing but corded rope. A fearsome looking man holding a whip in his hands. Another playing with flames. Strange, black masks hid their faces, but their eyes looked out--hard and frightfully vacant.
DL, it said at the top of the page, An exclusive club where pleasure is pain and pain is pleasure.'
"What is this?" Khushi whispered, clutching the leather chair. Her knuckles stood out white. "And why was Arnav looking at this?" The dark emptiness surrounding her provided no answers.
TO BE CONTINUED...